Being at home during the COVID-19 shutdown has provided me a lot of time to get outside and walk the neighborhood. I am noticing things I haven’t seen before, seeing neighbors that I haven’t seen in a long time, and noticing things that have always been there but I haven’t taken the time to look at. The key words here are “taking the time”…
Young children always seem to notice everything don’t they? Maybe even things we wish they didn’t notice. They are keen observers and are full of natural curiosity so taking them on a walk is a good way to engage in rich conversation, get fresh air and exercise, as well as strengthen their vocabulary.
A good place to start is looking for shapes in their natural environment. Once you start looking, they will find shapes every where. You can start with two dimensional shapes and then progress to three dimensional shapes. Here are a few terms to use:
- Equal (Are the sides equal?)
- Vertices (Where the sides meet, the corners)
- Side (The outside edge of the shape)
- Three dimensional shape terms: sphere, cone, pyramid, rectangular prism, cylinder)
You can use your phone (or iPad) to take photos of these environmental items to create a shape book. I have created a Keynote slide deck called Shape Search and am sharing it with you here: Shape Search. If opened on an iPad, your child can use an Apple Pencil, stylus, or finger to trace the shapes in the photos, copy the shape words, and draw their own shapes inside the deck. You can even upload any photos you take on your own shape walk.
Despite the interruption in routines, the uncertainty of what is ahead, and school closures, one thing I have learned through this time is our focus becomes our reality. I have tried to find ways each day to try something new or do something I enjoy. I encourage you to get outside with your young children and look for the unexpected.